By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I am trying to watch the 4K titles on Max that have Dolby Vision on my Sony 4K TV. I’m using a Roku Premiere stick which supports 4K. The TV supports 4K and Dolby Vision but I’m not getting the movies in Dolby Vision. Any suggestions? — Dale, Arlington, Virginia. 

Dale, HBO Max on Tuesday changed its name to just Max, dropping the HBO, and expanding its lineup which now includes more than 1,000 show episodes and movies in 4K. Some titles are available in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

If you’re not familiar with Dolby Vision, it’s a proprietary HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology developed by Dolby Laboratories. Dolby Vision improves the picture quality on a scene-by-scene basis. This means that the brightness, contrast, and color of each scene are adjusted in real-time, resulting in a more immersive and realistic viewing experience. Dolby Vision is also capable of displaying up to 10,000 nits of brightness, which is significantly higher than HDR 10, a rival HDR format.

You can see if a movie or show is available in 4K Dolby Vision by looking in the title’s description. Max titles in Dolby Vision include The Dark Knight, Dune (2021) and 2001: A Space Odyssey, among many others.

However, just because the Max 4K title is available in Dolby Vision, that doesn’t mean you can watch it in Dolby Vision. To do so, you need one of the following devices:

Android TVs
Apple TV 4K
AirPlay 2-compatible 4K TVs
Cox Contour 2 and Contour Stream Player
Google Chromecast Ultra and Chromecast with Google TV

4K LG Smart TVs
iPhone and iPad
Roku Ultra, Roku Ultra LT, Roku Streaming Stick 4K+, Roku Streaming Stick 4K, Roku 4K TVs, and Roku 8K TVs
VIZIO 4K Smart TVs
Xfinity X1 (Xi6) and Flex

As you can see, the Roku Premiere is not on the list, which would explain why you are not getting the Dolby Vision titles in DV. You might want to upgrade your device to a Roku Ultra. If that’s too expensive, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K would work, too.

Click to see Amazon’s discounts on Roku products.

But note that you can still watch the 4K title in 4K HDR 10, which uses static metadata to adjust the picture quality of a video. This means that the brightness, contrast, and color of the entire video are set at the beginning and remain constant throughout rather than scene by scene in a Dolby Vision title. HDR 10 or HDR 10+ are also compatible with a wider range of devices and TVs and is more widely used than Dolby Vision.

Dale, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann